NBA Playoffs Schedule 2021: Dates, times, odds, where to watch

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We are down to a Final Four in the NBA — and it’s not the final four anyone predicted. Upsets and young stars proving they are ready for the big stage have made these a playoffs to remember.

The NBA postseason heads into its Conference Finals series.

Here is the 2021 NBA playoffs schedule (all times are Eastern), with odds courtesy our partner PointsBet:

CONFERENCE FINALS

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Phoenix Suns (2) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (4)

Game 1: Phoenix 120, L.A. Clippers 114
Game 2: Phoenix 104, L.A. Clippers 103
Game 3: L.A. Clippers 106, Phoenix 92
Game 4: Phoenix 84, L.A. Clippers 80
Game 5: L.A. Clippers 116, Phoenix 102 
Game 6: Phoenix 130, L.A. Clippers 103 (Suns win series 4-2)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Milwaukee Bucks (3) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Game 1: Atlanta 116, Milwaukee 113
Game 2: Milwaukee 125, Atlanta 91
Game 3: Milwaukee 113, Atlanta 102
Game 4: Atlanta 110, Milwaukee 89
Game 5: Milwaukee 123, Atlanta 112 (Bucks lead series 3-2)
Saturday, July 3 at Atlanta, 8:30 p.m., (TNT) [Hawks -2]
Monday, July 5 at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m., (TNT)*
*if necessary

SECOND ROUND

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Philadelphia 76ers (1) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Game 1: Atlanta 128, Philadelphia 124
Game 2: Philadelphia 118, Atlanta 102
Game 3: Philadelphia 127, Atlanta 111
Game 4: Atlanta 103, Philadelphia 100
Game 5: Atlanta 109, Philadelphia 106
Game 6: Philadelphia 104, Atlanta 99
Game 7: Atlanta 103, Philadephia 96 (Hawks win series 4-3)

Brooklynn Nets (2) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (3)

Game 1: Brooklyn 115, Milwaukee 107
Game 2: Brooklyn 125, Milwaukee 86
Game 3: Milwaukee 86, Brooklyn 83
Game 4: Milwaukee 107, Brooklyn 96
Game 5: Brooklyn 114, Milwaukee 108
Game 6: Milwaukee 104, Brooklyn 89
Game 7: Milwaukee 111, Brooklyn 105 OT (Bucks win series 4-3)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Phoenix Suns (2) vs. Denver Nuggets (3)

Game 1: Phoenix 122, Denver 105
Game 2: Phoenix 123, Denver 98
Game 3: Phoenix 116, Denver 102
Game 4: Phoenix 123, Denver 118 (Suns win series 4-0)

Utah Jazz (1) vs. L.A. Clippers (4)

Game 1: Utah 112, L.A. Clippers 109
Game 2: Utah 117, L.A. Clippers 111
Game 3: L.A. Clippers 132, Utah 106
Game 4: L.A. Clippers 118, Utah 104
Game 5: L.A. Clippers 119, Utah 111
Game 6: L.A. Clippers 131, Utah 119 (Clippers win series 4-2)

FIRST ROUND

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Philadelphia 76ers (1) vs. Washington Wizards (8)

Game 1: Philadelphia 125, Washington 118
Game 2: Philadelphia 120, Washington 95
Game 3: Philadelphia 132, Washington 103
Game 4: Washington 122, Philadelphia 114
Game 5: Philadelphia 129, Washington 111 (76ers win series 4-1)

Brooklyn Nets (2) vs. Boston Celtics (7)

Game 1: Brooklyn 104, Boston 93
Game 2: Brooklyn 130, Boston 108
Game 3: Boston 125, Brooklyn 119
Game 4: Brooklyn 141, Boston 126
Game 5: Brooklyn 123, Boston 109 (Nets win series 4-1)

Milwaukee Bucks (3) vs. Miami Heat (6)

Game 1: Milwaukee 109, Miami 107 OT
Game 2: Milwaukee 132, Miami 98
Game 3: Milwaukee 113, Miami 84
Game 4: Milwaukee 120, Miami 103 (Bucks win series 4-0)

New York Knicks (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Game 1: Atlanta 107, New York 105
Game 2: New York 101, Atlanta 92
Game 3: Atlanta 105, New York 94
Game 4: Atlanta 113, New York 96
Game 5: Atlanta 103, New York 89 (Hawks win series 4-1)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Utah Jazz (1) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (8)

Game 1: Memphis 112, Utah 109
Game 2: Utah 141, Memphis 129
Game 3: Utah 121, Memphis 111
Game 4: Utah 120, Memphis 113
Game 5: Utah 126, Memphis 110 (Jazz win series 4-1)

Phoenix Suns (2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7)

Game 1: Phoenix 99, L.A. Lakers 100
Game 2: L.A. Lakers 109, Phoenix 102
Game 3: L.A. Lakers 109, Phoenix 95
Game 4: Phoenix 100, L.A. Lakers 92
Game 5: Phoenix 115, L.A. Lakers 85
Game 6: Phoenix 113, L.A. Lakers 100 (Suns win series 4-2)

Denver Nuggets (3) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (6)

Game 1: Portland 123, Denver 109
Game 2: Denver 128, Portland 109
Game 3: Denver 120, Portland 115
Game 4: Portland 115, Denver 95
Game 5: Denver 147, Portland 140 (2OT)
Game 6: Denver 126, Portland 115 (Nuggets win series 4-2)

Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs. Dallas Mavericks (5)

Game 1: Dallas 113, L.A. Clippers 103
Game 2: Dallas 127, L.A, Clippers 121
Game 3: L.A. Clippers 118, Dallas 108
Game 4: L.A. Clippers 106, Dallas 81
Game 5: Dallas 105, L.A. Clippers 100
Game 6: L.A. Clippers 104, Dallas 97
Game 7: L.A. Clippers 126, Dallas 111 (Clippers win series 4-3)

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Leaked video of Draymond Green punch of Jordan Poole means incident not just going away

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The Warriors thought they had the situation handled. Sure, Draymond Green punched Jordan Poole during practice but Green apologized to the team and discipline was being handled “internally.” Nothing to see here, move along.

Then TMZ got ahold of a leaked practice video that shows things being much uglier than most imagined.

It shows Green and Poole had their beef and were talking, Green walked up on Poole, then Poole pushed him away with two hands and Green came back with a vicious punch to the face that was a massive escalation.

The Warriors do not practice on Friday and nobody from the organization is scheduled to speak to the media. Green is expected to rejoin his teammates in practice on Saturday, coach Steve Kerr said previously.

The Warriors likely will say this changes nothing, they had already seen the video before settling on a punishment. Plus, punches have been thrown in NBA practices more times than anyone could count — including Kerr getting punched by Michael Jordan in a legendary Bulls practice.

But there was never video like this leaked before.

It increases the inherent tension around the situation, keeps the news cycle alive and gives fans (and media pundits) some context and facts to discuss whether the Warriors are letting Green off easy.

It will also bubble up the subtext to all this about the Warriors’ future spending, something NBC Sports Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson and I discussed on a PBT Podcast previewing the Warriors’ season. Co-owner Joe Lacob has said that the Warriors’ salary and tax limit will make it hard to extend all three of Andrew Wiggins, Poole and Green at the prices they expect. Poole, the youngest of the group and a bridge to the future, is going to get his money (probably a little more than Tyler Herro just got from the Heat). There’s been speculation that Green would be the odd man out (or would have to be willing to take a paycut to stay), he can opt-out and be a free agent this summer.

The Warriors thought this fight was in the rearview mirror. Green and Poole would have to address it with the media at some point, but the Warriors wanted to move on and focus on the season and their upcoming ring ceremony.

The leaked video changes that dynamic. The controversy remains on the front page and the Warriors will have to deal with it.

The only thing that is certain in all this is that the Warriors will investigate who leaked the video and then fire that person.

 

Adam Silver hopes teams don’t tank for Wembanyama. Good luck with that.

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Victor Wembanyama came to Las Vegas this week and put the hype machine into overdrive: In two games against the G-League Ignite he scored 73 points with 15 rebounds, nine blocks, hit 9-of-18 3-pointers (and 22-of-44 overall). He is a 7’4″ freak that LeBron James called an “alien” and a “generational talent,” and Stephen Curry said he was a “2K create-a-player.”

Combine that with the play of the Ignite’s Scoot Henderson — who had scouts using a young Derrick Rose comparison because of his athleticism, body control and skill — and the reaction in NBA circles was clear: There will be a “race to the bottom” this season. With multiple franchise cornerstone players available (and a deep draft at the top beyond those two), tanking will be an epidemic in the NBA.

Adam Silver, speaking in the United Arab Emirates before an NBA preseason game between the Bucks and Hawks, does not want to see teams tanking for Wembanyama.

Good luck with that, Adam.

The league office hates tanking and even a discussion of it. They hate the idea of a fan base being told — or, worse yet, actively rooting for — their team to lose games. This season there will be an epidemic of it around the league. In a typical year, a front office may want to tank but their challenge is getting buy-in from ownership. Not this year — Wembanyama could add $500 million to the value of a franchise, one league executive told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It could make the NBA trade deadline in February wild as teams that started the season thinking playoffs but were out of the mix (due to injury or just not being good enough) pivot to tanking. For example, think Portland from last season after Damian Lillard had surgery. Of course, the Trail Blazers also can serve as a cautionary tale — they had the sixth-worst record in the league last season but fell to seventh in the draft. Tanking doesn’t always work.

There were already were teams clearly in rebuild mode and racing to the bottom this season — do you think it’s a coincidence Danny Ainge blew up the Jazz this past summer? — and some other teams with some promising young talent (Houston, Orlando) that are fine losing a lot of games while those guys learn on the job. But the bottom of the standings could get crowded.

The NBA flattened out the lottery odds a few years ago to discourage tanking: The teams with the three worst records have a 14% chance to get the top pick and the odds drop from there (fourth is 12.5%, fifth is 10.5%, and it keeps on going down). However, this year, because the prize at the top of the draft is so huge, more teams than ever could try to get into that top three, or at least do what they can to fatten their odds.

However, with the prize being Wembanyama this season, a lot of teams may be willing to take that risk.

Despite what Adam Silver wants.

 

Joel Embiid has Olympic-sized decision to make: France or USA

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HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Joel Embiid has two choices: the red, white and blue of the U.S., or the blue, white and red of France.

An Olympic medal might hinge on his decision.

France is still hopeful that Embiid – the reigning NBA scoring champion – will choose to wear its colors for the 2024 Paris Olympics even though he recently became an American citizen, national team coach Vincent Collet said Thursday.

Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers star, may choose to play internationally for the U.S. or France, but not both. It was widely presumed that he would play for France at the Paris Games and possibly even next year’s Basketball World Cup in the Philippines, until Embiid revealed last week that he now has American citizenship as well.

“Now he has both nationalities, and he has to choose one basketball nationality, which is not the same,” Collet told The Associated Press. “So, that is a choice. Nobody can do anything to change it.”

Embiid told AP last week that it’s too early to think about a decision. By rule, he will eventually have to declare a choice to FIBA, the sport’s international governing body, if he decides that he wants to play at the Olympics or World Cup.

France is the reigning Olympic silver medalist and is planning to have a team featuring Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum – and, quite likely, top NBA draft prospect Victor Wembanyama – at the Paris Games. France’s plan is to essentially take what will be its Olympic roster to the World Cup next year.

Without Embiid, that French core has been extremely formidable. On top of the 2021 silver in Tokyo, France won bronze at the 2019 World Cup and silver again at this year’s European championships.

With Embiid, that group would figure to be even better. Collet said Boris Diaw, the general manager of the French national team, has been in contact with Embiid to discuss options.

“I know he met some of our players to discuss,” Collet said. “I think he should play with us. But we will see. We will respect his decision whatever it is.”

Embiid was born in Cameroon and has held French citizenship. He has a Brazilian girlfriend – their son is American – went to high school in Florida and played college basketball at Kansas.

The five-time NBA All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection has spent his entire pro career with Philadelphia, averaging 26.0 points in his first six seasons and a career-best 30.6 points on his way to the scoring crown last season.

Wembanyama encore: 36 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks against Ignite

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Victor Wembanyama is for real.

And I don’t mean real tall, although he is that, too. Check out this image of him next to Rudy Gobert, who is a legit 7’1″.

Wembanyama is for real like a genuine generational talent — in his second game against the G-League Ignite he had 36 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocked shots.

That comes off his 37-point performance in the first meeting where he hit 7-of-11 3-pointers and had five blocks.

To be clear: That is 73 points, 15 rebounds, nine blocks, shooting 9-of-18 from 3 (and 22-of-44 overall) across two games against a good talent level. And he is 18 years old.

Everyone in and around the NBA has been trying to come up with player comps — Kristaps Porzingis, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan — but the reality is Wembanyama is one of one.

Scoot Henderson — the G-League guard projected as the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft — played just five minutes in this game after bumping his knee while guarding Wembanyama. He was taken out of the game and X-rays found a bone bruise, he did not return. He is officially day-to-day the team announced.

Wembanyama and his Metropolitans 92 got the win in this rematch, 112-106.